Lobbying is vital

WELSH MP Guto Bebb claimed he is the example of what lobbying politicians on behalf of Israel can achieve.

In a debate on the reasons why pro-Israel groups should lobby – led by former Labour MP Professor Eric Moonman – Mr Bebb said that the work done by Conservative Friends of Israel had meant he became a defender of Israel in Westminster.

The Aberconwy MP was elected in May last year and CFI director Stuart Polak, who was also on the panel, set about enlisting Mr Bebb to the Israeli cause.

“People who think lobbying doesn’t make a difference are mistaken,” he said. And he warned that on the other side of the debate, “well meaning peace campaigners sometimes end up arguing for terrorism”.

Mr Bebb, a native Welsh-speaker, quipped: “Arabs can speak Arabic in the Knesset. I can’t even speak Welsh in the House of Commons.”

The politician added that Conservative backbenchers are unhappy with the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, for his “one-sided” statements on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the House of Commons.

He said: “To abstain on the Palestine vote at the United Nations is not something we should be proud of as a country.”

One of the most pro-Israel voices in Westminster, Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman, said: “Lobbying is important. But you have to deal with things calmly and factually, not emotionally.

“It is important that the pro-Israel voice is heard. Unless there is another perspective provided than the pro-Palestinian one, people of general good will could drift towards the anti-Israel angle.”

© 2011 Jewish Telegraph